Wrath of the Lich King Classic - Top Tank Tier List

Tanks are the bread, as the healers are the butter. They are needed for every raid and dungeon in WOTLK; it is important to see the changes and this tier list to decide what tank you should play in WOTLK Classic.

Tanking saw a major buff in WOTLK from TBC and Classic days, as holding aggro or threat was a much harder task than in WOTLK. In this guide, we will outline the most optimal tanks to the more skillful and still useable tanks in our list of S tier through D Tier. We will also be going over all the changes throughout WOTLK Classic to WOTLK original; 

Tank Choices

In WOTLK, additional tank choices brought up the total number of classes who can tank to 4. The classes that can tank during WOTLK are:

●Death Knights
●Feral Druid (Bear)
●Protection Paladin
●Protection Warrior

This guide will review each tank and give you the necessary information to determine the correct tank according to your play style and viability in WOTLK.

Death Knights

Death Knights - The new class coming to Classic in WOTLK, this class is comprised of 3 very unique styles of gameplay talent trees. You may only start a Death Knight if you already have a level 55 character on the realm you’re playing because Death Knights immediately start at level 55.

Blood Death Knight

Blood Death Knight is the magic slayer class of WoW. Blood DKs offer a variety of utility while facing magical boss encounters with amazing passives that bolster their defense. The initial start of a Blood DK is rocky as they scale well with gear but do not use a shield, so their armor values at a low gear score can make for rocky tanking. However, their passives and amazing spell reflection/shields can make for formidable tanks even with mid-tier gear.

Unholy Death Knight

Due to their AoE pulling potential, unholy death Knight will be a viable tank for dungeons during WOTLK. Unholy Death Knights can tank by activating Unholy Blight and having Blood Presence active, making for one of the most effective AoE tanking classes. Unholy Death Knight is not viable for raid content as their talents don’t support single target tanking and are less effective than the Blood Death Knight’s potential.

Frost Death Knight

Like Unholy Death Knight, Frost Death Knight is a DPS spec that can easily tank dungeons with a few talent changes. Frost Death Knights are exceptional single-target tanks with their Unbreakable Armor and single-target damage. Frost Death Knights are viable to take into raids but are nowhere near as viable as the Blood Death Knight.

Druid (Feral Bear)

The Druid Feral Bear spec is a fantastic tank during WOTLK. Feral Druid has the highest health pool by a considerable margin; as a result, they can take a huge thrashing in raids. Their highest stat priority is stamina and dodge rating; this can make most healers love to boast their impressive single target heals.

Feral Druid’s weaknesses are low AoE taunts and relying on the hunter’s misdirect abilities. On top of AoE taunts, they also struggle with single-target taunting abilities and require a larger skill cap to master. Feral Druids deal some of the most damage as tanks; however, and easily secure themselves a spot in most raids if the damage is low. The only exception to Druid tanking is Icecrown, as players will gain a boon to stamina at a loss of dodge rating, which means Druid tanks aren’t as valuable in Icecrown.

Protection Warrior

Protection Warrior is a sad case. They rated the lowest tanks during WOTLK because their damage, tanking, and maneuvering skills weren’t on the same level as the other tanks. They are not bad, as their Off-tanking capabilities are far from weak. Shockwave and Vigilance can contain aggro loss easily and stun enemies. On top of this, they have great damage mitigation abilities with a high skill cap.

Protection Paladin

Protection Paladin is the number one tank for WOTLK. Their tankyness and versatility make for some of the easiest tanking and the safest raiding experiences. Paladins during WOTLK were known for being the best of the best as their bonus damage came from fighting undead - which was the entirety of WOTLK raiding. Along with bonus damage (which affected Retribution Paladin), Paladins had exceptional damage mitigation and abilities that nullified AoE Raid damage mechanics. If you were raiding, you would always find a Paladin tank combined with any above tanks, as their abilities were too valuable to pass up.

Overview of Classes

Even though these classes all have strengths and weaknesses, it must be said that these are usually small percentages and can take any of these tanks into raids. This guide is just an outline and a guide to show you which tanks are the best for most situations during WOTLK.

WOTLK Tank Tier List

As promised, here is our official Tier list for Tanks.

●S -Tier: Protection Paladin
●A -Tier: Unholy Death Knight, Blood Death Knight
●B -Tier: Frost Death Knight, Feral Druid
●C -Tier: Protection Warrior

As you can see, we justified this list throughout this guide. There will be changes during certain patches, but this is information gathered through previous 2007 WOTLK and private servers as WOTLK has not been released to Classic yet. As a result, this list may vary from patch to patch but ultimately will look like this on 3.3.5 with the end of WOTLK.


We hope you enjoyed this overlook at Tanks during WOTLK. The role of Tanks has always been stressful and important in World Warcraft, and in WOTLK, they were given a lot of love. Check out WoWWotLKGold.com to get ahead of the curve with gear when WOTLK releases, and check out our other news to ensure you’re informed of up-to-date information!